SALEM, OR (KPTV) - A police dog helped Salem police find a burglary suspect hiding in a ventilation shaft Friday morning.
Officers found Charles McWilliams, 54, of Salem, hiding about 15 feet down a ventilation access shaft in an HVAC room at the Salem District Office of the Bureau of Land Management.
Police responded to a commercial burglary alarm at the building in the 1700 block of Fabry Road Southeast just before 3:30 a.m. and saw a person on the roof.
Officers surrounded the building but had to wait for a BLM employee to let them inside. They requested additional resources, including a SWAT team and two police dogs, due to the building’s size and complexity, the police department says.
One of the police dogs alerted an officer to the HVAC access room. SWAT officers entered the room, saw McWilliams in the shaft and helped him climb out before arresting him.
Salem firefighters later lowered officers into the access shaft to look for evidence and to make sure McWilliams did not have an accomplice hiding in the area.
McWilliams was transported to the Salem Police Department for interviews. He was booked into the Marion County Correctional Facility for burglary in the second degree.
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